Thursday, 2 February 2017

Barriers to teacher participation in an online community

I have been mapping what I think are teacher cultures/adviser cultures (those folks who are in a community supporting teachers) against what I think are the 'cultures' (way of doing things) prevalent in an online community - the argument being that there is a mismatch.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The key elements of teacher cultures (and I know these are open to debate) I would identify as:

Synchronous interactions interactions, with learners and other teachers take place live, in the moment.

They are location based in a school building and take place during the school day. 

They are led and influenced by senior teachers and Headteachers schools are built around hierarchies.

Learning is curriculum led.

There is a focus on formal assessment.

Even if you contend the extent to which each of these is a element of teacher cultures it becomes clear there is a mismatch with the cultural features of an online community. 

Considering the 'culture' of online communities - the way we do things in those communities - before trying to draw a comparison with classroom/school/teacher cultures and how the two interact.

The key elements of online communities are (and I know these are open to debate):

Asynchronous interactions learning conversations take place over a period of time and anytime (they are not time dependent).

They are not location based wherever you have access to a device connected to a network you can access the community e.g. using my Smartphone on the 6.05 am train into Glasgow.

They are and I know this has been contended non-hierarchical online interaction has none of the social clues that are a key element of and influence interaction in the physical, face-to-face world.

Social collaboration is the focus for learning its learning through conversation.

And very often the learning outcomes can be unintentional as learning is co-constructed by participants.